Alibaba's cloud computing arm to invest more in Asia, Europe

Updated 2017-10-11 10:32:00 Global Times

Alibaba's cloud computing to invest more

Alibaba Cloud Computing, an Alibaba Group subsidiary that provides data-centric cloud computing services, on Tuesday revealed its ambition to continue exploration of overseas markets. But experts warned that the company needed to enter more sectors and win more influential clients.

Alibaba Cloud Computing will follow the nation's Belt and Road initiative by stepping up exploration of the Asia-Pacific markets, President Hu Xiaoming told a press conference on Tuesday.

"We will provide more Chinese technologies for countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, " Hu said. "There will be bigger things coming up."

Hu made the statement in Alibaba Cloud's headquarters in Yunxi town in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, a day before the opening of the 2017 Computing Conference.

The conference is an annual cloud computing summit organized by Alibaba Group.

Alibaba Cloud previously announced plans to establish two data centers in Mumbai and Jakarta, Indonesia soon, India-based newspaper The Hindu reported.

Hu said that Alibaba Cloud will also increase investment in European markets with methods such as setting up a new data center in Germany as well as increasing technical input in other European countries.

According to Hu, Alibaba Cloud has quickened its pace of globalization in recent years.

"We have set up nearly 200 data centers overseas in [such markets as] the US and Japan, and this base will become even larger," he told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Hu also noted that Alibaba Cloud technologies have benefited many oversea companies and public infrastructure systems. "For example, Malaysia-based Air Asia uses our cloud computing services. Our facial recognition technologies are also used by Malaysian airports for airport security checks," he said.

But Li Yi, a senior research fellow at the Internet Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, noted that Alibaba Cloud's globalization still needs improvement.

"For example, their international clients don't represent all major industries, and their international clients can't compete with those of companies like Amazon in terms of company scale," he told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Alibaba Cloud generated revenue of about 66.6 billion yuan ( billion) in fiscal 2017, which ended on March 31, 2017, up 121 percent year-on-year, according to Alibaba's financial report released in May.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a guideline in April in which it noted that China's cloud computing sector was forecast to be worth about 430 billion yuan by the end of 2019.

Li stressed that development of cloud computing is still imbalanced in China. "For instance, in terms of industries, certain sectors, like transportation, embrace those technologies, but others, like healthcare, don't," he said.

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